Reed Johnson (front left) and Paul Preston (front right) reading the 95th grievance at Sonoma Plaza on Nov. 19. (Nathan Su/The Epoch Times) Members pictured represented Butte, Contra Costa, Mendocino, Napa (r), Lake, Solano, Sonoma, Sutter, Yuba, Sacramento (r) , San Benito, Shasta, Stanislaus and Yolo counties.
Updated November 29, 2019
SONOMA, Calif.—The New California State movement completed its 96-week-long weekly grievance process on Nov. 19, the 156th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.
The New California State movement is a statewide grassroots effort to break away most of California’s rural areas from the current state and to form a new state. So far, representatives from 52 counties in California have joined the movement.
The activists in the movement have worn yellow vests at public events since last December to express their opposition to globalism and socialism.
Members of the Nevada County New California State movement reading the 95th grievance in Nevada City, Nevada County, CA at the Superior Court on Nov. 19.
The movement, if successful, would make New California the 51st state in the Union. The new state would be the 6th most populous state, after New York but ahead of Illinois and Pennsylvania. The remaining part of California would have only seven counties and become the 2nd most populous state after Texas.
The movement declared its Independence on Jan. 15 last year, and it states that it is following a constitutional process based on Article IV, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution, which specifies the process for establishing a new state from an existing one. The last time this process was done successfully was when West Virginia broke away from Virginia in 1861.
Members of the Santa Clara County New California State movement reading the 95th grievance in Santa Clara County, CA at the Superior Court on Nov. 19. (The Epoch Times)
Since claiming its independence, the movement has filed weekly grievances each Tuesday, except Christmas Day in 2018, in counties involved in this process. The movement has filed 95 grievances using the First Amendment right of petitioning the government for redress of grievances.
Paul Preston, the president of the movement, told The Epoch Times that the reason it filed a total of 95 grievances was that he was inspired by Reverend Father Martin Luther, who made 95 theses for the reformation of Roman Catholic churches.
Members of the Santa Barbara County New California State movement praying before reading the 95th grievance in Santa Maria, Santa Barbara County, CA at City Hall on Nov. 19.
The new state chose Jan. 15, 2018 to claim its independence because it was Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The African American leader of the civil rights movement in the 1960s was named by his father after the Protestant reformation leader, Martin Luther.
The grievances issued by the movement stated that California has been in violation of U.S. Constitution Article IV, Section 4, which is known as the “Guarantee Clause.” This section of the Constitution requires that the state and federal governments provide the citizens of the United States with a republican form of government, protect them against invasion, and protect them against domestic violence.
Members of the Santa Barbara County New California State movement reading the 95th grievance in Santa Maria, Santa Barbara County, CA at City Hall on Nov. 19.
The movement holds that the current state has a “mono-party control” system instead of a republican form of government, and that it has adopted sanctuary state policies that have failed to protect California from invasion by illegal immigrants and failed to protect Californians from domestic crimes caused by illegal immigrants.
Since Article VI of the Constitution states that the U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land, the new state movement believes that by violating Article IV, Section 4, California has also violated Article VI.
Debi Cloud, Chair of the Santa Barbara County New California State movement reading the 95th grievance in Santa Maria, Santa Barbara County, CA at City Hall on Nov. 19.
One of the locations where the 95th and final grievance was announced was Sonoma Plaza, where California’s Bear Flag was first raised in 1846 after the state declared its independence from Mexico.
Amador County New California State movement reading the 95th grievance in Jackson, Amador County, CA at the Superior Court on Nov. 19.
Reed Johnson, Committee Chair and the interim State Senator of Butte County of the new state, read the full Gettysburg Address in front of the statue in memory of the first raising of the Bear Flag.
Johnson also read the full text of the 1836 Declaration of Independence of California, which was written in 1836 by Juan Bautista Alvarado.
The Declaration states: “California is free and it will cut off all relations with Mexico until the mother country cease being oppressed by the present ruling faction known as the central government.”
Alvarado led a coup in 1836 and declared independence for California. His effort to make California independent did not completely succeed but set the stage for the 1846 Bear Flag Rebellion. Alvarado became the governor of the state between 1837 and 1842, and the central government of Mexico gave the state more local autonomy.
September 10, 2011, the Native Sons of the Golden West sponsored annual Admission Day Parade in Columbia State Historic Park, Columbia, CA. California has always been a rebellious place and so we start with the 1836 lone red star of the republic flag, commonly referred to as the Juan Alvarado / Issac Graham flag. This appearance of a red star of the republic is apparently unique to California. The original flag still exists and is in the collections at the Gene Autry Museum. Danette Oydegaard's replica is about 1/2 scale.
Greg Hanna, Chair of the El Dorado County New California State movement reading the 95th grievance in Placerville, CA at the El Dorado County Court House, CA on Nov. 19.
Following Johnson’s reading, Preston read the Proclamation written by Commander William B. Ide in June 1846, Proclamation when California again declared its independence from Mexico and raised its own Bear Flag.
Members of the San Luis Obispo County New California State movement after reading the 95th grievance in Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo County, CA on Nov. 19. Cindy Muir, Chair.
In his proclamation, Ide invited California citizens to assist him in establishing a government,
“which shall secure to all, civil, religious and personal liberty; which shall insure the security of life and property; which shall detect and punish crime and injustice; which shall encourage industry, virtue and literature, and which shall foster agriculture, manufactures, and mechanism.”
California existed as a republic with its Bear Flag for less than 24 days before it was claimed as territory of the United States on July 9, 1846.
Sonoma Plaza on July 9, 1846 and the raising of the Bear Flag with the "Lone Red Star" from the 1836 Juan Alvarado / Issac Graham flag.
1846 Bear Flag with the "Lone Red Star" from the 1836 Juan Alvarado / Issac Graham flag.
Preston told The Epoch Times that since the new state movement has completed it grievance process, they will start negotiating with the state legislators and forming statewide interim commissions to work on issues related to New California State.
Members of the Modoc County New California State movement reading the 95th grievance in Alturas, Modoc County, CA on Nov. 19. Noelle Jones, Chair.
The U.S. Constitution requires that the formation of a new state from an existing state must be approved by the legislature of the existing state. What motive the California legislature would have for letting the rural areas form a new state is not clear.
Members of the Santa Barbara County New California State movement pictured with a stand up of President Trump following the reading of the 95th grievance in Santa Maria, Santa Barbara County, CA at City Hall on Nov. 19. In order for the New California State movement to become the 51st state the President must give his support.
In addition, the U.S. Senate must approve the formation of the new state. Doing so would likely require 60 votes to bring the matter before the Senate for a vote.
Angelic Payne, Co-Chair and Gene Woodcock Treasurer of the Butte County New California State movement reading the 95th grievance in Oroville, CA at the Butte County Court House, CA on Nov. 19.
As the Senate is currently constituted, this would require several Democrats to vote to create a new, likely Republican, state and diminish the electoral power of California that gives their party a significant advantage in presidential contests.
Russ Wyluda, Chair of the Placer County New California State movement reading the 95th grievance in Auburn, CA at the Placer County Court House, CA on Nov. 19.
These difficulties have often been brought up at New California State meetings, but the movement has continued to move forward regardless of the challenges.
Paul Preston contributed to this article.